I Have Never Tasted Alcohol. Friends Urge Me to Do So. Is It Okay to Indulge in It Once?


I’m 19 years old, in college. I’ve never tasted wine, beer or any other alcoholic beverages, but my friends who have often urge me to try. They tell me to try it once with them, and it feels tempting when they say so. Is it ok to indulge in it once or is it better if I abstain for it altogether?

—Kana Yuhi, India


Dear Kana,

Especially if you are a spiritual seeker and meditator, it’s better for your consciousness not to drink any alcohol. The thing is this: it’s much easier to say 100% “no” than 95% “no”. The 95% easily becomes 90% and so on. There is no real reason to try it. Why do your friends urge you to do so? Are they truly thinking of your well-being, or is it about their own feeling of ease?

I too don’t touch alcohol at all, nor am I glad that in my youth I touched it (before the spiritual path started). All true yoga Masters recommend leaving it aside. So I’d recommend just to not get into it at all.

For disciples of Yogananda, at any rate, the direction is clear: it’s a firm “no” to any alcohol. For those living at Ananda communities, there are only a few rules, but one is “no alcohol, no drugs”.

All the best,